October 10, 2014

Wedding cliches - selling like hot cakes!

Colorful clothes, jolly smiles, mouth watering food, dhol, band baja, tents, halwaai- a typical sight of a traditional wedding in  India. As winter approaches, the wedding season begins. There is continuous sound of the band, Baja and the “Baarat”. Every year, this is the time when there is music and food all around. You get so many invitations that it becomes seriously tough to decide which wedding you should attend. But ultimately two factors govern your decision- closeness with the host and the level of function (including the taste/ variety of food). Everybody is a happy camper on the day of the wedding. Right from the bride, the groom, their parents, and all the other close relatives. But Indian weddings are more than just this. The best words to describe a typical Indian wedding would be “a social show-off day”, where every person dresses extra dramatically, puts on their best and the most expensive shoes and constantly tries to put other off. It eventually becomes more of a cliché wedding than the normal ritual. But deep within, everybody enjoys this!

The first concern on the minds of the parents is the overall budget of the wedding. With the new age/ era, came the new thought of revoking the practice of “dowry”, but what is more prevalent these days, is a more modern version of dowry system. The Bride’s family is so much reluctant to give dowry but are ever ready to spend lavishly on the lawn decorations, expensive food, extensive pandaal and the gifts/ return gifts. Even the “lehenga” of the bride costs too much. But, as I said before, the wedding won’t be worth if the bride doesn’t spend on her dress. This is not the end. The cliché
“Log kya kahenge” is also very important. Even after spending so much on the arrangements, there is a constant fear in the minds of the parents that what will people say. I mean come on; marriage is a function to enjoy and not to wait for the critical remarks of people who care more about free dinner than giving their blessings to the newlywed couple.

Even now, the most literate section of our society follows the custom of dowry, indirectly. They believe in giving away gifts and car and cash to the groom’s family, as if their daughter was not enough. And this is why I still wonder, why is the status of women degrading day by day? Girls are paying to get married, in literal sense.
Another wedding cliché is the one followed by the groom’s family. The conventional custom of timely arrival of the “baraat” has been successfully replaced by the custom of arriving when half of the guests have already eaten their dinner and gone. However much you might like the weddings, not getting an opportunity to see the groom, spoils the excitement of attending a wedding. Wedding means lots and lots of food and this eventually means wastage. Now this is something to ponder upon. Amidst the love of showing off their wealth and basking in the glory of their stupendous functions, people forget about the menace they are causing to the society.
Another custom rather cliché that is seen in the weddings is that the old Aunts or Uncles, sit together and make matches of all the eligible children in the family. Weddings are bound to be uncomfortable at this point. You cannot make the elders unhappy by answering back, so all you got is to “smile” and pretend that you are equally eager to tie the knot.

Long story cut short, I wish I do not get caught up in these social obligations when it is my “D” day (Fingers crossed). A fun filled wedding- with the near and dear ones around the corner, all the music, chatting, gossips, dance and the delicious food, is a dream though, yet I prefer not getting under the influence of the wedding clichés!

September 22, 2014

Martians Vs Venusians- A battle of wills

Ever got into an argument with an opposite gender?
Yes, the war between men and women is inevitable. The saying, “Men are from mars and women from venus”, is true. I know most of us have read the wonderful work by John Gray, but still the whole idea of writing the book is perplexing. I personally think that the aim of writing this book was to resolve the mystery and tie the loose threads together so that the understanding between men and women improves and both try on placing each other on equal pedestal. But no! The pride, the ego and the race to become superior is more important than cherishing the differences and living with them.

Men love spotlight. They love when their abilities get appreciated or recognised. As for their relationship with women, they want women to depend on them and acknowledge their presence, everytime. Women are completely opposite though. They want their feelings to be understood and appreciated. It is important to realize that men and women have extremely reciprocal behaviours and preferences. When exposed to problems, men tend to become mute and work with their mind to sort out the problems. Women, on the other hand, are vulnerable. Come hell or high water, they will get the problem sorted, but for that they need to communicate and help others to figure out a way for them. Talking of language, men prefer talking in very literal terms that are rarely understood by women. They prefer sorting their thoughts and organizing them, before actually putting them into words. On the contrary, women, when in a difficult plight, possess the nature of sorting out their thoughts simultaneously while communicating.

The crux of the matter is that women are emotional, inside out. Men, like rubber bands, tend to relapse into their solitary phase (the so called “space in a relationship”) and then spring back to being their normal selves. Unlike them, women are like waves. They have their own crests and troughs of happiness and sadness. When they think it is time for emotional cleansing, they cry bloody murder and even develop swollen eyes. But when they are happy, they are full of the joys of the spring. Therefore, the communication between the two creations is the key to a good and long lasting relationship. Verbal attacks are the most destructive ones and should be avoided wherever and whenever possible. It is essential to realize that winning an argument, even if the partner’s views remain unchanged, is more of a hollow victory. And thus, the only solution that I can think of is that during an argument, men should avoid getting defensive and try to lend an ear to what is being said and women, on their part, should work upon expressing their problem without criticizing their partner.
Long story cut short, like apples and oranges, men and women are completely different. They cannot be weighed together. They think differently, have varied perspectives and also have different preferences. The best can be reflected when both sides decide to accept each other and give equal respect.
PS: This is just a theoretical concept. I myself cannot abstain from getting into an argument and striving to win everytime (grin).

September 13, 2014


Like the speechless fallen petals in autumn
My words are never enough
For anyone, for everyone
My identity is drunk into an oblivion

I feel the numbnesss in my life
The “gap” that stands between me and the world
It grows and increases by leaps and bounds
Leaving me in my own solitude

With the charm and glow of happiness
I walk everyday with a painted-on smile
No one cares, no one dares
Leaving me in the bushes, that pretend to scare.

I stand strong, I stand confident
But I also fall weak at the knees
For when the tide rises a little too high
It seems to kiss the sky
But when the tide falls,
 it vanishes into the thin air

I feel sad, I feel alone
With no one to decipher
Gradually falling into the limbo
Hoping against hope to be rescued.


August 30, 2014

Indian Society- Achilles Heel !! (Part 1)

Independent, are we?
Free, are we?
Masters of our lives, are we?
I don’t think so. Instead we are slaves of our very own society. I still think why I put up Spain’s flag as my whatsapp profile picture, on this Independence Day. Many questioned and criticized but I was not bothered because I knew the real reason behind this. I don’t like my country and yes it is true. It is not that I desire worldly pleasures, the gold and the diamonds, the best facilities or the lavish lifestyle. It is just that the society in which I reside is hurtful.
How can anybody chant the slogan of freedom when he/ she is not even sure what might happen the very next moment? Here in India, people are like crabs in a bucket. Each one of them tries to climb the ladder of wealth by stepping onto the others and throwing them back. Of course there are some good souls too. But they are also under the grip of our society. People abstain from helping each other or caring for each other. They ignore the bad that happens in front of them. They criticize and condemn the efforts of others and what not. And when it comes to proving the patriotism, they prefer uploading the picture of “national flag” or the “black dot of shame”, as their profile picture. This has been happening since ages, but still there has been no improvement in the development of this nation. Why? May be because the black dot is angry or may be because the social media site chosen by the people to show off their patriotism, did not reach out to other individuals. How lame is that.
Issues that make India a more dependent and worst country to live in are many and it would take a solid decade to write them up here. But some which haunt my mind every now and then are presented below.
The very recent ALS ice bucket challenge is the example. How many of us actually know why this challenge was introduced? How many of us know the meaning or even the full form of ALS? People are just running after the means to improve their PR and snatch the limelight. I was literally ashamed of the kind of posts that we Indians have been posting regarding this challenge. “Sunny Leone in hot bikini takes ice bucket challenge” or “Sania Mirza hot sexy avatar” or even better “The bollywood action hero (Akshay) takes up the challenge in Cape Town and exposes through his white T shirt”. How badly I wished that these celebs should be told about the ALS disease and the purpose of this challenge.
Another issue that often fills me with disgust is the position of women in our society. We talk about freedom but when it comes to travelling alone during night or wearing party dresses, it becomes a cultural issue. Every hour a woman, a girl or a lady is being raped in some part of this country. Majority of the issues are not even reported. If by chance an issue gets reported and the case comes out in public, then there are scenes of candle light marches, banners, hoardings and “Anshan”. But is this all helping? The trials of the rapist lingers on for years, some get bailed out and some get to spend their lives lavishly in jails. But has anybody thought about the victim or her family members? Leave aside the rape cases, even the normal girl, who dresses properly or avoids any chance of going out alone, fears that her dignity and morality might be at stake because every single man on the road has this beastly eyes waiting to hog the prey. Is this what is called freedom?
We make the government to assist the development and empowerment.
But are we really developed and empowered? There are no jobs, price hikes, unsatisfactory salaries, insecure future and much more. “Ache din aane wale hain” is a mere myth. People are yearning for proper electricity and water supply. The urban areas lack proper roads or means of communication. Complaints are not being attended. Service quality is degrading day by day. But where is the money going then? All of us complete our share of responsibility of paying the taxes. But this is more of an investment without an actual gain or profit.
Remember “Oh my God”. That is indeed the only movie that has touched my heart and soul. I do not believe in superstitions. And I also make sure I don’t follow things blindly. But what about others? Majority of Indians prefer going to “Nirmal Baba” and “Aasaram bapu” for advice. No sooner does the problem knocks at the door, the brain level of the people reaches to level zero. They are blindfolded by the sayings and “nuskhas” of these “sadhus” and “pujaris”. Instead of using their brain to solve the problem, they spend money in form of “guru dakshina” and “totkas”.
“Laughter is a best medicine” but laughing at people is definitely not. This society of ours is such that it neither supports nor encourages anybody to rise. The mentality of the people is such that they side against the one who is carefree or is a genuine human being. They comment, they pass horrendous remarks, they boycott, they fight and they blame. But none of them ever comes forward and praises the effort. Because they are afraid that they might be left behind while the other is climbing the ladder of success. So they try and pull him down too.
There is more to this. Simply by putting a black dot or the national flag, won’t make your nation the best. I also agree that by writing all this I would not be able to solve even the tiniest problem of this country. But I am writing because I want to write. I am not a preacher and so I do not preach. But some day I wish my words have enough power to incite the public (including myself) to such a level that they take up their role as responsible citizens and bring back the days of freedom and independence.

PS: More to come in the next post!!!

August 24, 2014

Promoting Literacy with Grammarly

“Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.”
Carl Sagan
If you can think, then you can do. Being literate is not an option but a choice. A choice of uplifting and empowering oneself to reach new heights. Literacy and communication skills not only enhance one’s personality but also open the door to opportunities. A miserable life can be converted to a satisfactory life. Why am I posting this? Because I want the people to know the benefits of learning and hence, becoming literate.
Statistical records from National Assessment of Adult literacy (NAAL) say that literacy can be classified into three major domains- prose, document and quantitative. Although the quantitative literacy score has risen by 8 in the past years, there has been no significant change in the figures of prose and document. The reason for this is the unawareness and the wrong approach for learning something new. If we look at some of the past records, we can see that all the negative actions like crime, poverty, illness, unemployment, etc, are all because of illiteracy. There exists a vicious cycle that affects the well being of the person. It begins with the choice of not learning and takes its toll as the age increases. Lower literacy levels affect a major part of the population. About 50% of the unemployed people are illiterate. 43% of the illiterate people are below the poverty line.
What we can do?
Being the literate section of the society we can spread awareness. If our initiative helps even one single person to start learning, then the world will become a better place to live.
Why should people start learning?

To get employed and become independent
To earn for their families and provide food, shelter and hygienic living conditions
To avoid crime
To be able to advocate and speak up for themselves and obtain their rights
To develop a good personality
To be able to lead others on the path of literacy
And there are many more reasons because without knowledge life is meaningless. Read. Write. Speak. Remember literacy is a bulwark against poverty and other miseries, a building block for development. It will enable democratization and consequently promote the identity of the individual.
As a part of this literacy intervention, I vow to spread awareness and persuade atleast three people to start learning.
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”
Frank Serafini

August 15, 2014

CHARTBUSTERS…the ones that will definitely blow off your mind!

Life without music is life without soul. Everybody has this bucket list of some rocking and sensational songs in their phones, iPods and other daily gadgets. Here is my bucket list:
1.      Hips don’t lie (Bamboo remix)- SHAKIRA
This one is truly a great song for tapping your foot. The original song is good but this FIFA version is the best. I personally feel like singing to the crowd and dancing to the rhythm.
2.  Alive (Original mix)- Empire of the sun
Yet again, a great composition by EOS. My suggestion: watch the video and then add to your bucket list. The way these band members dress up and perform is quite scenic.
3.      Loca- SHAKIRA
If you are crazy, then you will definitely like it (loca loca loca).
With mesmerizing music and sensational belly dancing beats, this one fits the third position..
4.      International Love- PITBULL Feat Chris Brown
Well, this one is the best of Pitbull and Chris Brown. Adorned with hip hop beats and some real music, it will definitely suit your ears.
5.      Colors (Captain cuts remix)- GROUPLOVE
Want to add some colors in the playlist, then this is the best choice. The voice, the music and the fast track lyrics…a perfect combination and a superb track overall.
6.      Feel so close- Calvin Harris
I heard this song for the first time in one of the episodes of “Vampire Diaries” and I became a fan instantly. I have no words to describe the beats and rhythm… so give it a try.
7.      Ketchup song- Las Ketchup
If you are a 1990’s kid, then you should remember this song. How we used to imitate the dance moves and used to sing in Spanish (though I never really was able to pronounce the words correctly). Amazing song again.
8.      Tic Tic Tac –Dancing to the stars
By the name, I guess, most of you must be confused as to which song this is. Remember “bachi bachi o tambor”? During the good old school days, this was the most common song on which the little kids performed.
9.      Tik Tok- Kesha
A happening song with superb lyrics. Probably every girl should listen to this and dance to the tune.
10.  Sexy Chick- David Guetta
OMG! Listen to this number for sure and you will realize the strength of music it contains. The dance floor shall break. The crowd shall go wild. After all it’s David Guetta.

So here is my bucket list. Plug in your earphones and listen to these numbers. I know our choices will vary so if you have other better options, do comment.

July 31, 2014

Long distance relations- a tough row to hoe!

Long distance relationships are the most complicated and sensitive ones. Promising each other to keep in touch always, either through social media websites, or phone or chat messengers, is practically not possible. You can spend almost countless hours waiting for the other one to get free from work, but still you do not get to see him/her. You don’t get to see the person or meet the person, when you need him/ her the most. You can’t hug, or hold hands or kiss. And gradually all the intimacy left, is gone. But then the belief that you both belong with each other, is there. Your relationship becomes based on each other completely and nothing else.
You learn to trust. Because you cannot always be present with the person to see what he/ she is doing.
You learn to communicate and listen, because that is all you can do to keep in touch.
You start fighting more, because you find it difficult to take out time for each other.
You start caring more, because you are not there to help or to take care.
You learn to sacrifice, because someone is always going to lose a bit.
And lastly, you learn to appreciate the differences.
Long distance relationships, if handled with care, can often lead to development of a stronger base of any relationship. You learn to appreciate and cherish every moment you get to spend with each other, even if it is through a computer screen or a simple phone call.
“Distance isn’t for the fearful, it’s for the bold”, and thus, the key to long distance relationship is faith. It will sound really difficult. Believe me, it is even more difficult to practically live through it, but then there is no other alternative. You start living with the hope to see each other soon and this keeps the spark alive.
Long distance relationships rarely work out, but when they do, they last lifelong.
After all, “it is for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for the little time with the one they love.”
 “It’s for knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough.”

July 23, 2014

A feather in nature's cap!

Okay, here is a write-up on the present day activities of humans that are intervening with the laws of nature. Recently, I read on a scientific website, about a hybridized tree that could produce 40 different kinds of fruits simultaneously. Isn't this amazing? Well, the actual news is that, this tree is capable of producing forty different kinds of fruits ranging from peaches, plums, etc. If you are wondering that this effort was made by some scientist or researcher, then you are wrong. An art professor, Van Aken, compiled all his knowledge and saved an old tree by renovating it and making it more useful. What I came to know after reading several articles was that a research institute had this orchard, but since the institute had funding crises, it was being shut down. Mr. Van realized the importance of this tree and saved it by buying it. He then worked on it for several years and applied the fundamentals of plant growth (basically he tried to incorporate grafting methods and took various scions from different stone fruit plants). Eventually, the idea of chip grafting worked and the tree gave splendid results.

It took about five years of research and sweat, pain and money to give shape to the whole idea and Mr. Van was successful in his effort. This tree looks like a normal tree during most of the seasons, but during spring it develops a unique patchwork of mixed shades of pink, red and purple. Thus, during this time, there is abundance of peaches, plums, nectarines, almonds and cherries.

Well the purpose of this article cum information is to incite the young minds and readers to work towards innovation and likewise yield productive outcomes. Although not all human interventions may sound beneficial or ethically right, but definitely the ones which aim at salvaging the nature are. Van Aken has grown 16 of such trees till now and planted them in areas like the museum parks, community centers or private art collections, in US. The 40 fruit tree has helped in preserving the diversity of the stone fruit. Some of these fruits are commercially viable and therefore, also offer a source of income for people. Anyway, the concluding remark is that it is overall a great effort by Aken and kudos to his creative and rational objective. After all, a rising tide lifts all the boats!

July 07, 2014

Unalloyed allegiance

Inside the hazy room, she sat staring at the mantelpiece clock . She wrote- “ Son, I am spanning through the last days of my life . This ailment is taking me in . I want to see you before I die . Please come .                    
   - Your Mother ”

There at the Army camp , her son’s eyes were filled with drops of grief, the letter in his hand . He immediately applied for a leave . All there, were supposing that a war could be proclaimed owing to the enemy activities at the border .

Two days later they all were packing up their things . His leave had been sanctioned . Others were preparing to leave for the war . He looked up at them trying to decide whose fate was worse . His mother was keeping her eyes open just to get a last glimpse of him . He thought of that woman who had nurtured him throughout his life , protected him within the boundaries of her  own restrictions , punished him whenever he went astray , gave him comfort and company and shelter and joy . She was his courage and his strength . In her old age he had tried to be the same for her . He left the merry camp and reached the station . But , now , all he could do for her was to go to her , helpless , and see her dying . The arrival of the train was announced . Why couldn’t he protect her or do anything for her . Thinking of it , a second thought came to him . Hadn’t his country been a second mother to him . Hadn’t it done the same for him . Hadn’t it nurtured , protected , punished and comforted him . The train arrived at the station and people started getting in . Maybe , it was time he could really do something for his mother  than to allow her to slip past him while he stood and saw . The train gave the whistle for departure . He would fight for his mother . He would do his duty as a responsible son . He turned back and walked towards the camp.

They all had the same fate .

July 06, 2014

I lost you...

Sitting alone I realized
Things were not the same anymore
With every passing day
I lost you.

I still remember the day we stared
Letting the chaos of the world disappear
We laughed, we cried  and we cared
Hoping there might be love, buried somewhere
We were in trance before we even realized
Building dreams and life that would crystallize

But as the days went by
You changed, you drifted
Taking all my hopes away
Laying in the green ley
I cried, I fought
But all my pleas didn’t slay

Sitting alone I realized
Things were not the same anymore
With every passing day
I lost you.

July 02, 2014

Ten things to do before you die!

"Dreams are the touchstones of our character" ~ Henry David
Everybody dreams. Even if all of them cannot be fulfilled, at least you get to live the moment. I had read articles and also seen movies where people paint their wildest dreams in form of wish lists captioned as “Things to do before I die”. And, influenced by them, I also planned on certain to do check list items:
Now I am pretty sure no one can deny the fact that they love travelling and that they avoid the chances they get. Well, definitely I am not the one who misses such an opportunity.  Travelling and unveiling the beautiful mystery of the world is breathtaking.
A story is not always a concocted one. But most of the times, writers pen down their own experiences in form of a novel or a book. So here is the next wish- to write a book, on my life, which includes my personal life characters and all real life events. In the end it’s all about letting the world know your story in your very own words.
Face your biggest fear. In my case, it is acrophobia (fear of height) and so I would love to go sky diving. Sounds cool eh? Go for it. Try an extreme sport and overcome all your fears. Try scuba diving or paragliding, para sailing, rappling or rock climbing. Even skiing is fun.
Believe it or not, this one is a serious one. Helping the one in need is the biggest gift you can give to yourself while you are alive. Try reading some psychology or humanity related articles and you will start thinking in the same way. Be it by donating blood or in any other form, save someone’s life.
Get a tattoo done. Try a religious symbol, or your lover’s name or a quote or any random thing. Trust me you will love the new showoff.
This one might not be applicable for everybody as getting drunk is a habit these days. But for those who do not drink, just for once let the liquor intoxicate your body and make you feel lost in a different world.
Yeah lucky me as I know how to swim. For freshers, it is no big deal. Just step in the shallow end and enjoy the beauty. I have always wondered how it would be like to fall from a ship and then swim all the way back to the shore. I have also spent sleepless nights thinking about the life ending events that might occur. I might be eaten up by a shark or water might fill in my lungs or I might never reach the shore. But believe me or not, I have never prayed for this to happen to me.
Yeah! This one is my favorite. I have always dreamt of becoming a rock star, having my own band and singing to the crowd. If this cannot happen then at least I shall try my hand in karaoke for sure.
Love is a sublime feeling that makes you complete. Nothing can be more powerful than the power of love. So fall in love, live every bit of it and cherish the memories that you make. To add on to the fun, kiss your loved one, standing under the Eifel tower, in the city of love and romance.
And watch it grow. It will remind you of the years you have spent in this world and will also refresh all the memories associated with every passing year.

So start preparing your very own bucket list of things you should do or you want to do before you die and plan to execute each one of them.

July 01, 2014

Nail art at home!!

Beauty has no boundaries, and so here is the new colorful news! This is something random that I found and am sharing with all the ‘female’ readers.
Lovely ladies! Here is something really new and exciting for your nails. Gone are the days when you had to run to some nail art specialist.
Now you can design your nails at your beck and call. No more going to the market and spending money unnecessarily. Just follow these simple steps and get your nails ready for a little showoff:
  • Put on a base coat and let it dry
  • Apply vaseline on finger and cuticles (avoid nails). This avoids lacquer from sticking to your fingers
  • Fill a bowl with water and drip in color combination you want
  • Swirl with a toothpick and drip your fingertips
  • Soak for a minute and then take them out and allow excess water to dry
  • Now cover with a top coat
And with this little pampering and colorful experimentation, you get the new trendy outlook for your nails.
Another good news, with this method of nil art, you can throw away all your worries related to the design. Just a small pin pointed object like a matchstick or toothpick can be used to create design of your own choice.
For an instance, in a bowl pour few drops of bloody red nail paint in the center...let it spread a little. Then add daisy yellow in the center again...followed by green....and swirl around with a toothpick to create a design of your own.
Lately two methods have gained notice. One is the water marble method, as mentioned above, and the other is the toothpick method, wherein you do not need any water. It just involves putting a base coat on your nails, then wrapping tape on the surrounding areas of the nails and then putting drops of colors of your favourite nailpaints on your fingernail itself. With the toothpick take the color in the center towards outside and then make a design of your own. Let the abstract art dry. Apply final top coat to make the surface of the nail smooth and enjoy the new lively nails!
Designs for this nail art can be done using any prop. If you use toothbrush or a small brush and instead of dripping a drop of nail paint, you spray the paint on water, you will end up with a polka dot print on your nails.
Tie n dye nail art is gaining appreciation worldwide because of its quickness and variety. You don't even have to think about a design while applying. Just some random abstract nail art can make your day. Free from toxic chemicals, this is a revolutionary technology.
Be it a formal party or a casual gathering, just choose your preferable colors and drip in one by one...and all colors will be imprinted on your pretty long nails. Wow, isn't this amazing. So go, check out the market and buy all nail paints of your favourite colors and happy experimenting!!
Keep inventing and keep coloring!!

June 24, 2014

The terrifying ordeal

She had just got up from the dinner table when a sudden gust of wind blew off the lamp. The battery of the radio also went dead simultaneously and a hush descended over the cozy environment of her small cottage. A sudden chill ran through her. She hastily went near the dressing table and opened the first drawer. It was filled with paper cuttings, allpins, gum, punching machine, etc. One of the allpins pierced the tip of her index finger and she pulled back her hand quickly. She could sense a drop of blood appearing on the hurt surface. Still she just wiped it off and continued searching for the candle and the matchbox. Finally she found it and breathed a sigh of relief. She lit all the five candles and made the room all calm and comfortable once again. The ambience was so soft that she could hear the candles speak amongst themselves. After washing the plates and setting everything in place, she went into her bedroom and started searching for the book she had planned to read. Hush. All the candles were blown off. This time she was really scared, for never before had she experienced such a thing. She reached for the kitchen and took hold over a small knife and paced towards the main door to check what was going on.

The door was locked. From inside or outside- she did not know. Perhaps there was no time to think upon that. She ran towards the window in the kitchen. To her horror, the window had blood stains. Somehow, she managed to overlook them and tried to open it, but failed. She again lit another candle, but it was blown off too. All her efforts for rescue were going in vain. But she did not lose hope. The weather was getting worse as well. Thunder storms and torrential rain added on to the gloomy atmosphere.

It was getting cold. She grabbed her shawl and pulled a chair near the window. The chain of thoughts was running fiercely through her mind when the sound of an opening cabinet, stole all her attention. She was terrified. Who could be there? Was someone playing a prank on her? What if there was a thief or a murderer or.... Ghost? All these questions made her feel weaker. Gathering all her left strength, she moved towards the sound source. Lighting a candle she saw tiny carpet beetles coming out from the half open drawer of the cabinet. These creatures were marching in a line as if preparing for a great battle. She stomped and killed most of them. But more and more started coming out. The wax of the candle had started falling on her cold soft skin. But she could bear that. What was unbearable was the sight of these ugly creatures. She kept the candle on the shelf and ran to get a broom. Not long before she had gone, when the sound suddenly stopped. Again there was complete silence. But her conscious was not ready to accept this. She felt uneasy and frightened. There was more to come. She stood still at one place and constantly stared at the cabinet. Nothing moved and there was no sound. The only sound that was audible, was that of her heart throbbing at a fastest pace.

Her chair was placed a few centimeters away from the cabinet that had an attached mirror. The light from the street enabled her to see a vision of herself in the mirror. She grabbed a bottle and drank water. She looked up again to in the mirror and the sight made her blood run cold. It was not herself that she saw on the other side. But it was someone else. She rubbed her eyes to ensure what she saw was right, but all in vain. The person or creature or whatever it was, on the other side of the mirror, started making obnoxious sounds. It felt as if something bad was about to happen. 

For some time there was stillness. She, somehow, managed to ask,  " Who are you?"
"Grrr.... Grrrr.... I am Dybbuk. " 
Before she could speak anything else, the spirit broke the mirror and started coming out from the other side. With a loud thud he jumped towards her. Meanwhile the candle blew off and there was complete darkness. She shouted for help but it felt as if her cottage was filled with vacuum. With a blurred vision, she saw long, pointed fingernails moving towards her neck. She moved back but got obstructed by the window pane. Dybbuk moved more hastily towards her and grabbed her neck. It tore apart the skin on her right hand and she yelled with pain and terror. She still retaliated and struck the spirit with the small knife.  But all efforts were futile. Dybbuk was thrice as powerful as her. It lifted her over its shoulders and tossed her over on the floor. By this time she had almost given up the hope. A bone or two was broken and she was not even able to get up or run. The spirit was blinded by the darkness for some time and in the meantime she crawled and hid inside the almirah. The loud howling sound of the spirit made her shiver. All she could do was pray for her life. She tried to remain calm and avoid making any noise. She remembered what she had read about Dybbuk, being a spirit of a dead person who tries to take possession of a new body. She remembered how she was warned a thousand times, before moving into this cottage. She remembered how she had had a pitiful life and that she thought may be she would find peace here. She had been having ill premonitions lately but had not paid attention to them. Finally the dreadful end was there infront of her. 
There was complete silence. She thought that may be luck had favoured her and the spirit had gone. She tried to peep through the small keyhole and saw nothing but complete darkness. She moved closer to the keyhole to take a look again. Nothing. A sigh of relief for her. Just then she heard a heavy breathing sound. She tried to take small breaths so that the sound diminishes. But the sound became more lucid and enhanced. She started sweating. Suddenly she felt a presence in the almirah itself. She turned and was appalled. Dybbuk stood right behind her. It stretched out its hands and she fled in full speed. This time she could not find a better place to hide. There was no time left. She stood behind the kitchen door.

She was gasping for breath and unfortunately, in the total stillness,  Dyubbuk heard her presence. It moved towards her and lowered itself towards her face. She tried to hit dyubbuk but her hands went right past the body. It was a spirit indeed. A snide laugh escaped the face of the spirit and it was ready to take possession of her body. Just then, she opened her eyes and realized that the entire terrifying ordeal had been a dream.

June 23, 2014

The cry of joy!

I am not very fond of reading newspaper but whenever I do I am lucky enough to find some good stuff to ponder upon. Recently I read an article titled- "The Eureka moment", and i was quite influenced by it. Each one of has a dream to discover or invent something and gather fame, name and royalty for the same. But developing an idea is not that easy. Well, to be precise, this is not true. Every event from the mundane reality of our lives has something to throw at us and it depends how well we catch things and mould them for our own benefit. Every idea, every inspiration and every initiative is a result of small seed of thought that affects us emotionally and psychologically. Even the most insignificant moments can lead to better actions, just like Newton, who realized the bigger picture of the falling apple and invented the theory of gravity or be it Archimedes, who made this word, "EUREKA" famous by propounding the Displacement Theory. Another most prominent Eureka moment was that of Philo Farnsworth who studied the motion of till and developed an idea for the working of televisions.

The main point here is that we should not wait for the seeds of wisdom or knowledge to get implanted into our heads, but instead scan through the everyday innocuous moments and find our very own cry of joy. It is not that you have missed your Eureka moment, but yes it is high time to reflect upon your ability to think critically and transform all the negative thought into positive ones. Eventually this will become your personal trigger and  widen your pool of thoughts.

It is not true that only the legends or born to be legends have a eureka moment, but everyone of us has the ability to have one. India's struggle for freedom was also begun when Mahatma Gandhi realized his self worth after being thrown out from a train in South Africa. This indeed acted as a trigger and intensified his need for justice and freedom. There are numerous entrepreneurs today, who are sitting comfortably in their AC cabins, having fresh juice and enjoying their eureka moment. So why not you? It high time to start exploring your opportunities and pave way for a seamless lifestyle.

May 16, 2014

May The Odds Never Be In Your Favour!

Amidst the fallen petals and faded leaves, Ella Everdeen stood beside the bench, thinking deeply. The soft light of the setting sun fell on her face and made it glow. She was untouched by the cool breeze, that blew a strand of hair across her face. She was too old now to remember all of it so clearly, yet she could picture the pain she felt and it was visible on her face.

Her father had a transfer and so her family was moving from Long beach to Rochester. The plan was to spend some time with Aunt Lucy, while her father would join his work and make arrangements in Rochester for schooling as well as a house in a good locality. Aunt Lucy stayed alone in Cortland. She was a very nice lady with a pure heart and the eagerness to help others. Her husband had died at a very young age and from then she had been managing her life by working as a Head of Department in a College.

Ella could never endure staying away from her parents and her one and only sister, even if it was for a few hours, however, after many efforts her mom had convinced her to bid goodbye to her father. It was early in the morning, around 4:00 AM, that her father had decided to leave for Rochester. With watery eyes, Ella came near her dad and asked him to bend a little so that she could whisper something in his ear. Mr. Everdeen stooped down and asked his little angel why was she crying. With choked voice, Ella asked her that dad how many days would he stay away from her. Mr. Everdeen hugged her tightly and remained silent. Ella understood that it was not a matter of few hours but days or may be months. She planted a soft kiss on his cheek, looked into his eyes and said,"Bye Dad". Mr. Everdeen again tried to hug her but she resisted saying," Wait daddy, this one was for today, I'll kiss you for all the days, you won't be seeing me". And she kissed her dad innocently. Mr. Everdeen was speechless. He knew the longer he stayed, the harder it would become to control Ella. He said to Ella's mother to take care of children and herself and that he would be back soon. And finally, Mr. Everdeen left.

Later in the morning around 7:00 AM, Ella's mother was startled with the ring of the telephone. It was an unusual ring. She had a feeling that something bad was about to happen. With a shivering hand she picked up the receiver.
" Is this Mrs. Everdeen?"
"Yes, who is this?"
"Hello mam, I am calling from Syracuse. Your husband has met with an accident. There is a minor injury and we have admitted him in the local hospital."

Mrs. Everdeen was in state of complete shock. The worst of her nightmares had come true and she did not have enough strength to fight that situation. Somehow she completed the conversation on telephone, noted down the address of the hospital and finally broke down. By that time aunt Lucy was also awake. She came to know about Mr. Everdeen and was also in tears.

The next moment Mrs. Everdeen was ready to leave for Syracuse. She woke up Ella and told her that daddy had met with a minor accident and that she was going to bring him back home. She had decided to leave Ella and her sister with one of Aunt Lucy's friend. Ella was speechless on hearing all that. All her emotions had suddenly left her alone. She told her mother to go and get her daddy back home safe as soon as she can.

It was later in the evening that Ella got a call from her aunt. She told Ella to come home with her sister. Ella tried to ask if her daddy was alright, but her aunt did not answer any of her questions. Ella had mixed feelings, her head told her that something bad had happened, but her heart was not ready to accept that fact.

Ella and her little sister reached home and found their house filled with people. All faces were known. For once Ella thought that may be that was a gathering called by her aunt because her father was safe. But the very next moment, when Ella entered the dining room, all her hopes were shattered, as she saw her mother crying over the death of Mr. Everdeen. It was end of the world for Ella. She ran and hugged her mother tightly. She cried. She fainted.

Girl With A Black Scarf

Ella worked in a jewellery shop. Like any other girl, she dreamt of having plenty of money one day, to buy all the beautiful necklaces and rings. But the odds were never in her favour. Her path to her goal was filled with obstacles.
Every now and then she had to face a stressful plight and this had eventually made her oblivious.

She had never, even in her wildest imagination, thought that such an encounter would change her views on life. Life, for her, was a burden. She never enjoyed any moment of happiness because she feared that it would be accompanied by sadness. But amidst all these feelings she failed to realize that for every minute she was sad, she lost sixty seconds of happiness. She needed an eye opener, a guide, a ray of hope.

That day she had to go to work a little late. It was noon by then. She woke up an hour later than usual and got ready for work. She wore a bright orange dress, arranged her wavy flicks and braided her hair neatly. Getting late for work, was not her cup of tea. But that day she was late. She hurried and walked across the street swiftly. Not more than 100 steps had she taken, when she realized that someone was walking beside her. She did not notice the person but could see a long black scarf. She stopped, turned and saw. A  beautiful woman was standing beside her. She had a picture perfect smile on her face.
She wore a black dress with a black scarf. Her long black her complimented her pretty face.

Ella could not take her eyes off her. All she could think was that how could anyone be so relaxed and looked so lively, why couldn't she be lively and as fresh as a flower. She was forced to ask the girl in black the reason for her beauty.

"I am what I think I am. Beauty is just another word. It is our perception that defines our personality. Life is not a bed of roses and even if it were, it would have been monotonous. I enjoy each and every moment I get to spend and that gives me a hope for a better tomorrow."

Ella had heard such words before. She asked her if she had any problems in life, to which the girl replied," Yes dear, ofcourse I have problems. Everybody has problems. But to make them major or minor, is in our hands. I always look for solutions, rather than mourning over what has happened."

 The girl seemed so confident and magnificent. It looked as if she had stopped aging. On the other hand, was Ella. All soaked up in the pressures of life, helpless and hopeless.

By the time Ella reached the jewellery shop, it was lunch time. All through the way she had been pondering upon what the girl with a black scarf had said. She was so engrossed that she didn't even realize when the two of them parted. When she reached her desk, she kept her bag on the desk. It was quite warm inside. Ella removed the long scarf and hung if on the chair. During the later half of the day, when the manager asked her the reason for being late, she just smiled and left. Something had changed in her.

Ella was lively. She was happy. It was during her solitary time, that she realized that the girl with a black scarf was Ella herself. It was her shadow, who had taught her a lesson for life. She realized that happiness is when what you think, what you do and what you say, are in harmony. Life is not solid- it is fluid and so it changes.

Not all problems will last for a lifetime. You just have to look within and ask yourself for a solution. And it works magically.